The main focus of our activities is the provision of the design, manufacture and construction of relocatable and permanent engineered fabric structures. In order to achieve this objective, the company maintains an effective and efficient Quality Management System based upon the requirements of ISO 9001.
Originally Rubb operated a quality system to satisfy the requirements of the Ministry of Defence. At that time, companies were unable to obtain MoD work unless they had systems in place which met Allied Quality Assurance Publications (AQAP) requirements. This system was restricted to MoD work, it was highly documented and required many inspections and checks. The MoD ceased to insist on AQAP when the commercial standard BS 5750 became widely accepted. BS 5750 was less demanding in inspections and paperwork and placed responsibility for the standard of workmanship on individuals; in 1994, BS 5750 was revised and re-issued as ISO 9001, which is the Quality Assurance system that we presently follow.
What exactly is ISO 9001?
It is a document produced by British Standards and adopted by the International Standards Organisation. It sets out the requirements for Quality Assurance that can be applied to most companies. To become registered to ISO 9001 standards, it is necessary to write down all company practices and to demonstrate that they comply with the rules of ISO 9001. These documents are then checked to ensure that they are suitable and cover all aspects of ISO 9001, and that the company follows the documentation closely.
SGS Yarsley is one of a number of organisations that have been approved by the Government to register companies to ISO 9001. To do this they visit the company, check documentation and then verify that you do what you say you do. In Rubb’s case this process began some years ago. After the initial assessment, SGS Yarsley returns to Rubb twice a year to make sure that standards are maintained and things continue to run smoothly.
What are the procedures?
Procedures are the agreed way that Rubb undertakes the various activities that go together to make the finished product, through sales, design, purchasing, manufacturing and delivery. These reflect good practices and meet the requirements of ISO 9001. In order to ensure the system works smoothly there are some additional procedures that control the system, including audits, non-compliances and management reviews.
What is ISO 9001 meant to achieve?
The aims of ISO 9001 can be summed up as making sure that customers get what they want, when they want it, at the agreed price, that Rubb learns from any mistakes made to prevent a repeat of the problem, and reduces complaints and waste.
How does the system affect me?
We check that all work is done properly and to a high standard before it is sent to the customer and correctly fill out any forms that are connected with the job.
Why do we carry out internal audits?
Internal audits are a requirement of ISO 9001. This ensures that Rubb continues to adhere to the agreed methods of doing things. As we carry out internal audits, we are doing several things.
- We make sure that we continue to follow the original procedures
- We check that the original procedures are still correct, as over months and years things change, and what may well have been satisfactory five years ago, may not reflect additional practices that have been introduced in the meantime
- We continue to train our employees to a high standard. People are continually updated regarding procedures and standards and the correct approaches are regularly discussed and agreed. As part of the system, problem areas are documented and then revisited to make sure issues are addressed
What are the benefits of a Quality Assurance System?
Many of our clients regard a Quality Assurance System as essential to producing goods or services to the standards that they require. In many cases, without ISO 9001, they would not do business with us. By maintaining our QAS, we can achieve the accreditation to reassure our clients that they can trust us and our products. The other major benefit is that a Quality Assurance System requires that problems and customer complaints are fully investigated and that actions are taken to stop such things happening again in the future.
What is a non-conformance?
A non-conformance is something that has not gone according to plan. It could be a complaint, a manufacturing defect, un-acceptable goods or a number of other unplanned snags that can be all too common in complex organisations. By recording them on a non-conformance report, they are brought to management’s attention so actions can be taken to eliminate problems and improve company performace.
These are the most commonly asked questions, however, if you require any further information, the Rubb Quality Manager will be available to answer them. The quality system is in place to help Rubb find out what the customer wants, produce designs to meet those requirements and continue to make and construct high quality buildings, in an efficient and economical manner that will fully meet our clients’ needs.